Monday 27 July

Thought for the day from John Witcombe

“The greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves.” (Luke 22.26)


Jacob Epstein has three sets of sculptures in Coventry cathedral. The smallest are the door handles, believed to be modelled on his grandchildren, with the titles, 'Peter laughing', 'Ian', 'Annabel' and 'Isobel Hughes'. They are sometimes called cherubs, but we don’t know if that’s accurate to the character of the children themselves!

It’s rather significant that the doors into our magnificent, vast and rather adult building should be opened by children. I rarely think about the significance of the handles as I go in and out, but maybe I should. It’s often children and young people who can open the eyes and hearts of those who are older to see as God sees, to love as God loves –without the prejudices and weariness that can accumulate with the years.

Last week I was part of a national consultation about how the church might reshape itself coming out of COVID. We tried to listen to the younger voices in the zoom room, who were deliberately in the majority. They were full of hope – let’s keep our ears and hearts attuned to those who can open doors to the way God wants the church to be.

John Witcombe is the Dean of Coventry and a member of the Bishop's Core Staff Team